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Husbands and Partners Against Breastfeeding - the all-new support thread for the BF Mother Resistance

(25 Posts)
BraveLilBear Mon 23-Sep-13 04:11:34

As it seems there are so many of us who are breastfeeding despite dissention from the one person you should be guaranteed support from, I thought it might be useful to have a place to collectively whinge share our experiences of lives with HAPABs.

Disclaimer: This thread is not intended to offend ffers, this is specifically for women who want to bf or even mixfeed but are bbeing undermined by their partners.

BraveLilBear Mon 23-Sep-13 04:15:28

Disclaimer 2 (knew I'd forgotten something mid 4am feed): I am not in any way a member of the bf militia- I have my annoyances with it - but the biggest annoyance is my DP's attitude. You don't have to be a bf diehard to post here!

Twiddlebum Mon 23-Sep-13 04:21:42

Hi, I'm not a BF mother (yet - due in 4 weeks) but was just wondering.... Why does your DP oppose BF? I've never come across that before?

BraveLilBear Mon 23-Sep-13 07:18:56

Hi Twiddlebum. Congrats on your pregnancy... and on having a supportive partner!

He says he supports my decision to breastfeed but he hates the fact that it's so time consuming - especially in the early weeks.

My mum thinks he might be jealous of the fact that most of the time DS will want me (for food) and he gets frustrated by that. So much so that if he's holding DS while I make dinner and LO starts crying, he'll assume he's hungry and not even try to settle him in other ways (often he needs changing then).

He hatea the fact that it's difficult for us to get out - as a family (feeding on demand tends to always make us late) or as a couple (I need a couple of days notice to express enough, and we can't go out longer than 4 hours partly because I don't like being away from DS for that long and partly because my boobs get engorged and sore).

He's hostile towards public feeding - even at someone's house he'll expect me to express in advance or leave the room because he doesn't want other people seeing me feeding. If we're out and baby gets hungry, he'll insist we return home because 'I didn't come out to feed him'.

Everyone he knows ffs. He was ff, his siblings were ff, his 11yo son was ff, all the WAGs in his friendship group ff after a maximum 4 weeks and all his friends attest to the life changing qualities of ff.

He accepts that there are health benefits to bf but refuses to read about them. This is especially frustrating when he decides to impose limits on how long we bf for - he said the other day that he doesn't want us bf past Christmas. DS will be 5 months.

He also insists that the accompanying faff of ff is no big deal (washing, sterilising, preparing, dealing with worse nappies) but I'm the one who'd have to do it.

So there are many reasons. Some more yet relate to thefact that breastfeeding can be very difficult - especially in the early days. Every time I said I was tired/sore/fed up he would threaten to march down to the shop and get formula. Occasionally I relent purely because it's easier not to fight, even though it makes me feel guilty.

I thought I just had a spectacularly immature (33yo) and stubborn specimen but posts on here revealed he's not the only one. In most other ways he's great. But we lock horns constantly over feeding.

Good luck with the upcoming birth and with feeding! It's tough at the start but does get easier smile

Sockywockydoodah Mon 23-Sep-13 08:46:37

Good god Bravelilbear, you are a bloody SAINT to put up with such ridiculous fucking behaviour. You must be so disappointed in him. Did you think it will impact on your relationship in the future? It would mine.

Do you have friends who breastfeed? Perhaps seeing others feeding unselfconsciously might help begin to normalise it for him. Do you want me to come round and tandem my two? grin

BraveLilBear Mon 23-Sep-13 09:04:54

Please do! smile I think it's largely a lack of exposure (scuse the pun). Many of my friends and work colleagues have breastfed but he doesn't know them and their little onesare all wweaned. To him it's not a normal behaviour.

I liked to think he might eventually see the pros to it, butif iI'm honest I think my hopes of him one day telling a mate 'it's hard work but worth it' are fading.

Please excuse word weirdness- phone is on charge and typing goes daft.

cashewsmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 11:53:20

Bravelilbear I am saddened to hear how unsupportive your Dp is. It is plain he has issues he needs to resolve. You do what you feel is best for your baby. He'll have to live with it. B/f is hard but it's also a joy and a wonderful experience and NO ONE should get in the way of it. After all. In the whole scheme of things then its only for a relatively short period of time and it will be gone. X

mrsmartin1984 Mon 23-Sep-13 12:06:30

Fortunately my partner is supportive. At first he was indifferent but when he read up on the health benefits he said he couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to BF. And also likes the fact that it's really easy to comfort her.

When I was in the ward post c section I over heard a woman who wanted to breast feed being talked out of it by her partner. If I was able to walk I am sure I would have gone and knocked out the masochistic prick. Post birth you are so vulnerable and exhausted and those around you should do everything to support you in your decision.

BeansAndCheese Mon 23-Sep-13 12:28:00

I can't believe the attitude of your dp. My dh was extremely supportive of bfing. I know he would have loved to have been able to be more hands on with our dd, but most important was her wellbeing. When it got really hard, he spent ages researching bf issues and what he could do to make it easier for me. He never complained at having to cook and clean after 10-12 hours working.

I think your dp needs some perspective. Babies are hard work however you feed them, but its only an issue for a few months.

joanna0211marie Tue 24-Sep-13 18:59:24

I stopped bf regretfully partially due to my dp being an absolute prick about it, I had thrush in both breasts, mastitis in both, severely cracked nipples and a little baby with a tongue tie nobody checked for, I was biting into a pillow every time I latched her on and tears streamed from my eyes as it was excruciating and I had him staring at me calling me a stupid cunt for carrying on when it hurt so much, I've ended up with post natal depression and a ff baby, and I still despise formula! I dream of bf my dd again and then cry because I know I'll never have that chance again, shes 16 wo now and stopped when she was 15 days after the constant jabs from him, even at one point bein called a lesbian for bf my daughter!!! Wtf!!! My boobs still have a tiny bit of milk in and maybe if I squeeze them enough I might get some milk back (shaking head doubtfully)

cheesebaby Tue 24-Sep-13 19:23:09

Joanne - you have a go if you want to. If your baby's tongue tie has been snipped, just try latching her on and see what happens. Don't put any pressure on yourself or her... It might just work!

GurlwiththeCurl Tue 24-Sep-13 20:20:03

Just want to give you all a bit of support. I wouldn't have continued to feed DS1 beyond a few days without my DH. Although it was many years ago, I still remember weeping with frustration at how hard it was at first. But DH himself had been bf and both of his sisters had bf their DCs. In the end, I fed both of our DSs for over a year each.

Maybe the difference is that he had seen bf normalised and also was older and more confident in himself as a man and a father? He did everything else in the early days. Worked, shopped, cooked, cleaned and also bathed both DSs every night as his bonding time.

His message to those DPs and DHs undermining bf is that they are an embarrassment to manhood!

Best wishes to you all.

BraveLilBear Tue 24-Sep-13 21:20:40

Joanna that sounds awful. But you might be able to feed her again. So sorry your DP has been so damaging sad good luck if you feel like trying again - and rant away if it helps.

Gurl I really think more needs to be done by 'cool' male slebs to talk about breastfeeding to help normalise it - even regular men like your DH. I was worried about breastfeeding in front of my 11 yo DSS but then realised that if I hid away, then that would just mean one more man growing up without any positive breastfeeding messages so I do it in front of him now.

mrsmartin1984 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:40:12

Joanna do what you feel is right for your lesbian. You can go back. I've known people who reestablish BFing. Tell him to bugger off and that being with him is far more likely to make you a lesbian then BFing

Bringbring Tue 24-Sep-13 22:55:35

Argh, massive reply lost! Op it sounds like you need support here because your dp's attitude, on paper, is really unreasonable.

But, my dp started out where yours was and is now pretty accepting of the power of the boob to soothe and nourish. I'm feeding past six months and he is supporting me with this. If anything, the baby chose and prefers to bf and that probably changed his outlook more than anything. Once when we were struggling with weight gain I had a bf peer supporter come to the house. He asked her some really basic questions and this seemed to reassure him.

I want to see the best in your dp's and recognise that bf is an unknown for some families but sometimes the struggle to bf can be a sign of something more sinister. My dp has had his problems supporting me to bf but it always came from a weigh gain / health perspective

Wishfulmakeupping Tue 24-Sep-13 23:02:04

My partner has been very supportive of bf all the way through very helpful when I struggled early on but he is keen for me to stop at 12 months he thinks its 'weird' to feed a baby that big. We had a similar discussion at 6 month as I did say initially I just wanted to get to 6 months then I would ff Which for millions of reasons I didn't do. If me and my dd aren't ready to stop at 12 months we won't.
I think this is a wider problem than people may realise I know 2 friends that have been told by their DPs that they are carrying on feeding for themselves and are being selfish hmm

Gwlondon Tue 24-Sep-13 23:14:12

My DH also thought every time DS cried it was only for a feed. So annoying.

Eventually he realised it wasn't but it took a long time.

We have learnt a lot though which will mean we won't make the same mistakes next time and I know what things not to entertain when DH gives his opinion. (Not feeding in front of FIl etc)

tiktok Tue 24-Sep-13 23:25:40

Joanna, you can breastfeed'll need a plan, but it is something many women do, and succeed. Call any of the bf helplines and ask about relactation, and search on the web for info too.

petalsandstars Wed 25-Sep-13 08:55:46

Just wanted to add my support too. DH was supportive in theory but not practice the first time as in he'd say to try formula when I struggled instead of encouraging me. After harsh words he improved but still didn't like me nip. I fed wherever I wanted or needed to though, car, bench, pub, restaurant, beach etc.

Moving onto baby 2 and the only issue he seems to have this time is seeing the toddler pretend to breastfeed her doll as he says its inappropriate. I have challenged this and he can't articulate why, i worked it out of him that it is just that he still sees it as sexual as it's to do with boobs!

We watched the tv programme 'is breast best' on really tv yesterday and he made a comment should boobs be on show at this time of day on tv. I thought the prog was good actually- worth a watch and may help normalise it a bit more.

KippyVonKipperson Wed 25-Sep-13 09:17:16

Just wanted to add my support to you all, I know I wouldn't have continued bfing if it hadn't been for the support of my husband & mum so I know how important it is. I am open-mouthed reading about some of the attitudes of partners on this thread.

Keep going & try not to let it get you down. I hope eventually when our sons grow up they will see bfing as normal & happily support their partners

rosiedays Wed 25-Sep-13 09:51:00

Great thread bravelilnear
Dp support is so important in the early days. My dh had only know bf babies. It was the norm with both our families and friends, yet when i had problems he was quick to suggest we ff. ( which was never an option I would consider as I couldn't be bothered with the faf and we were travelling to a less developed country where it would have been a nightmare)
His misguided reason was he simply wanted his child fed and his wife not to be in pain, however his delivery of this was not helpful and often in my over emotional post birth toe curlingly painful boobs state undermining and hurtful. It took all my reserves to stick to my guns. Long story short, tongue tie cut, things got better and now he can see i was right to stick with it (I love being right smile )
Big hugs to those still struggling. For me it was really worth it ( dd now 10weeks and ebf)

owlface Wed 25-Sep-13 20:15:28

Adding my support too, I needed DH to be very hands on in the early days to help with positioning and latch, he also used to bring me a drink at each feed as I get thirsty. We went away for a week and he commented on the amount of baby stuff we had to take and that if we had ff it would have been much more!
To those who might be reading who are pregnant, one of the things that really got DH on side was NCT ante natal classes, one of ours was just about bf and really it was all about getting the men to support us. I do wonder if the classes were worth the money as they weren't great in other ways but just for getting DH to be enthusiastic about bf I think it was worth it.

LadyGoodman Wed 25-Sep-13 20:47:29

Joanna the way your partner has been is disgusting aNd abusive FFing isn't the problem your partner is. So angry for u!!

BabyWitch Tue 08-Oct-13 19:56:21

I could have written so many of the previous posts. (Although my DH never called me names, Joanna.)

My DH was supportive on paper (he was bf until about 18 months so I assumed he was supportive), but in reality he was a bit of a saboteur.

DD had undiagnosed tongue tie (amongst other problems) and lost 11% of birth weight, so we had to stay in hospital on a feeding schedule, resisting pressure from staff to ff.

For the next six weeks whilst DD's weight increased slowly, she did not regain her birth weight. I searched high and low for a solution (/diagnosis) to our problem (visiting useless MWs, HVs, GPs, payed a private bf consultant a king's ransom - and she diagnosed TT at *FOUR MONTHS*) only to be met with 'I'll just go and buy some cartons of formula' from DH.

I went to every appointment on my own (sometimes travelling two hours across London, with a newborn). I even took DD to have her TT snipped on my own, which was very distressing. I had to travel home with her (again, two hours) in rush hour, on the train, covered in blood.

Bravelilnear, like your DP, he was very resistant to having his life affected by bf. He wanted to be able to leave the house at a moment's notice, wanted his father over for five hours, but wasn't comfortable with me bfing in front of him. But then when I bfed in another room, he would nag me to come and join the group. It was also little things, like if we popped out for lunch, he would immediately tuck into his food and not look to see if I needed help with mine.

Owl, your post has just confirmed for me one major factor which I believe undermined any hope of him being supportive/ of any practical help regarding bf: we too went to NCT, but the bf class was women only. She very unhelpfully emailed us a letter to give to DPs, which, predictably was about as much help as a chocolate teapothmm.

When I was experiencing problems I asked DH for his support, asked him to look up help, and even (admittedly, in despair) downloaded an online guide with pictures and asked him to have a read as I was in such a state I wasn't able to make sense of it. Instead I received his best face-like-a-slapped-arse look. And yet another suggestion to try ff.

BabyWitch Tue 08-Oct-13 20:20:17

Sorry for such an epic post. Good topic OP, obviously has brought up some unresolved issues for me grin.

So, if I have a Next Time, what do I do to get him onside? (He's already aware of the health benefits).

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